Last Updated: July 2018
Date: Sep. 14th, 2018
When you register, we ask you to indicate when you plan to pick up your bib. If you plans change, don’t worry about it. We only ask to help us plan in terms of numbers. Your choices to pick up your packet are:
OPTION #1: RACE EXPO (recommended)
We recommend picking your bib up and attending the expo the Friday before race day. It will be an outdoor expo, held at Arrowhead Park in Luray, VA (the same place as the finish line and race campground)! We’ll open up the expo at 11 am. Our vendors will leave at 6 pm, but you can pick up your bib until 7 pm.
You’re welcome to pick up a packet for a friend as long as you have a picture of their photo ID. Even a picture on a phone will do.
OPTION #2: SHIP YOUR BIB (US addresses only, unavailable after the final price jump)
There is a cost of $20 if you want to have your bib and shirt mailed to you. We do this as a convenience for runners not wanting to drive to Luray early.
Refunds: Once your package is shipped, you are officially checked in to the race and no longer qualify for our refund, deferment, or transfer options.
OPTION #3: RACE MORNING (limited availability)
We will have limited race morning packet pickup. The race starts very early, so having to worry about getting your bib on race morning will only add unneeded stress to your life. But we know sometimes it just cant be avoided. If it can be avoided, please do not pick your packet up the morning of the race. Bib pickup on race morning will be right next to the starting line. The race starts at 7:00 am. You will have until 6:30 am to pick up your packet, so please get there early!
Bring Your Own Bag
In our ongoing effort to eliminate waste during our races, our expos are bagless events. We encourage you to #BYOBag to hold your bib, race shirt, and any goodies you pick up from the race expo!
If you are unhappy with the fit of your race shirt, or were unable to order the size you wanted, we will have a shirt exchange available at the finish line on race day. Please note that sizes and quantity will be limited.
Race Day is September 15th, 2018 with the race starting promptly at 7:00 am.
Parking & Shuttles
The race will have 2 parking areas for runners and one area for spectators:
- Start Line: Hawksbill Recreation Park- 205 Pool Dr, Stanley, VA (marked below in green).
- Finish Line: Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park- 725 Lake Arrowhead Rd, Luray, VA (marked below in blue) **This location is for both runners and spectators.
The parking lots will open at 5:00 am on race morning. We strongly encourage runners to arrive early. The finish line parking area will close at 5:30 am. At 5:30 shuttles will begin taking runners from the finish line to the start line before the race. All remaining cars not parked by 5:30 am should head to the start line parking. The start line parking lot will close at 6:30 am.
Runners can be dropped off at the finish line area and catch the shuttle to the start line. Please do not drop runners off at the start line.
After the race, shuttles will begin taking runners who parked at the start line back to their vehicles. These shuttles will be leaving continuously as they fill up.
Spectators are encouraged to cheer on the runners at the finish line. To alleviate congestion at the start, we ask the no spectators be at the start line, nor get on a shuttle. Spectators are welcome to park at the finish line which is at Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park- 725 Lake Arrowhead Rd, Luray, VA (marked on the map in blue). Absolutely no spectator parking at the start line.
5:00 am – Finish Line and Start Line Parking Opens
5:15 am – Raffles Begin at Start Line (one every five minutes)
5:30 am – First Shuttles Leave to Start Line/ Finish Line Parking Close. (Everyone not yet in the Finish Line Parking should proceed to the Start Line Parking.)
6:00 am – Last Shuttle Leaves to Start Line
6:30 am – Start Line Parking Closes
6:45 am – Runners Line Up/Last Call For Gear Check.
7:00 am – RACE STARTS
9:45 am – Awards Ceremony
Our Shenandoah is a scenic road race near Shenandoah National Park. We’ll start at Hawksbill Recreation Park* (205 Pool Dr, Stanley, VA 22851) and end at Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park* (725 Lake Arrowhead Rd, Luray, VA 22835).
This is a challenging uphill course with great scenery, quiet farm roads, hilly roads in the foothills, and a gorgeous finish at the lake. You can see course and elevation maps below.
The elevation is a little tough, but it will be worth it! Besides, downhill courses are for wimps. :)
Start elevation: 1,028 ft.
Max elevation: 1,377 ft.
Gain: 881 ft.
Doubles & Triple
Just running each individual race does not qualify you for the Double or Triple medals. You need to register for the Double or Triple specifically.
The pricing below includes registration for the races, high quality race shirts for each race, each race finisher medal, a special finisher medal for whichever challenge you complete, plus your choice of swag to commemorate your accomplishment! We’ll have a tech tee, a cotton shirt, a sweatshirt, a hat, etc, for you to choose from when you pick up your bib!
Race Days: September 8 & 15, 2018
Location: Luray, VA & Townsend, TN
What you get
- 2 race tech race shirts
- 1 special Bobcat Double swag item (You will be able to choose from several items like a shirt, hat, sweatshirt, etc. Swag items are subject to availability.)
- 3 finisher medals (2 half marathon medals and 1 special Bobcat Double medal!)
Bobcat Double medal and swag cannot be bought, it must be earned!
Race Days: September & 8-9, 2017
Location: Luray, VA & Townsend, TN
What you get
- 2 tech race shirts
- 1 special Appalachian Triple swag item (You will be able to choose from several items like a shirt, hat, sweatshirt, etc. Swag items are subject to availability.)
- 4 finisher medals (2 half marathon medals, 1 5K medal, and 1 special Appalachian Triple medal!)
Appalachian Triple medal and swag cannot be bought, it must be earned!
Travel & Lodging
We want to help you make the most out of your vacation. Here are some helpful links and general information. We’ll be updating the links and information below over the next several months.
Getting to Shenandoah
Dulles International Airport (IAD) – Your next closest option is Dulles International on the west side of Washington DC. Expect about an hour and a half drive to Luray. While it’s further away, you should easily be able to find a flight to this airport, as well as a rental car. Learn more on their website.
Reagan National Airport (DCA) – A third option is to fly into Reagan National, right along the Patomac on the border of Washington DC. You can expect traffic and about a two hour drive from this airport, but this is a great option for anyone wanting to spend time in DC before or after the race. It’s a big enough airport to easily find flights and car rentals. Learn more on their website.
Shenandoah National Park is located in northwestern Virginia, roughly two hours outside of Washington DC… depending on where in the park you’re headed to. Shenandoah is a long strip of land surrounding Skyline Drive. Our race will be in Luray, VA, just 15 minutes from Thornton Gap Entrance Station.
To get to Luray, you’ll want to take I-81 towards New Market, VA, where you’ll connect with State Route 211 and head east to State Route 340. Head north to Luray.
These are general directions to our host town. Depending on where you’re coming from, there may be faster routes. We recommend using a maps service like Google Maps, or a maps app on your phone to find the best route to Luray.
Camping: Vacation Races Official Campground
The most convenient (and fun) place to stay at the race is the Vacation Races Campground, which we’ll set up by the finish line! The campground (marked in yellow) will be available Thursday through Sunday (September 13 - September 16) and it costs $50 to reserve your spot. If you don’t have a tent, then you can also rent one from us. It will be $100 for a 4 person tent and $130 for a 6 person tent. If you want to reserve a spot, you’ll be able to when you register for the race!
These will be large group sites, so if you reserve a spot, you’ll likely have some fellow runners as neighbors! There are bathrooms and showers on site, and we’ll provide group campfires. There aren’t any RV hookups, but we will allow some RVs to stay on site.
Camping: Shenandoah National Park
It’s hard to beat camping in the park! Be sure to check the location of the campground before you book! Shenandoah is a long stretch of land. Try to find a site near the Thornton Gap Entrance Station, if possible.
Here are some places to look for lodging. Booking.com is a great place to start your search.*
This is our host town. The race will end in Luray at Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park, and our expo will be in Luray as well. Any hotel in town will be a good option for this event. There are also several small towns around Luray, some with motels and B&Bs. Anywhere in the surrounding area is a good option.
New Market is just 20 minutes from Luray and has several hotel options. It is on the other side of Luray from Shenandoah National Park, but it’s still only about 30 minute drive to Skyline Dr.
Front Royal sits at the north end of Shenandoah National Park, where Skyline Dr. starts. There are plenty of hotel options here. Despite being a 30 minute drive from Luray, it’s a pretty good option if you’re flying into Washington DC.
*Note: This is an affiliate link and we might make a dollar or two if if you book through it.
Clubs & Trifecta
We like to encourage our runners to get out and enjoy the area where we hold our races, so we designate certain challenging and iconic activities in the park to be a part of our official club hikes and trifecta!
We have three hikes designated for the Shenandoah Half Marathon: Old Rag Mountain, Overall Run Falls, and Little Devil Stairs.
What do I get? Any runners that take the challenge and complete one of the designated hikes within 72 hours of running the race will officially join the club, get their pictures published on our website, plus receive a commemorative medallion! All you have to do is take a picture of yourself at the designated location which includes:
- A clear view of your face
- Your bib with bib numbers clearly visible
- Your finisher medal in plain view
- Clear background showing where you are
These hikes are meant to be difficult and they can sometimes be dangerous. If you choose to attempt any of these hikes, you need to take them seriously. Please bring lots of water (more than you think you need), and bear spray.
Old Rag Club
The Old Rag Club is a salute the hardcore among us. The Old Rag Mountain hike in the Shenandoah National Park is one of the most popular hikes in the mid-Atlantic region. This 9.1 mile (roundtrip) hike offers many viewpoints and vistas on the way. At the top, hikers will be rewarded with panoramic views of Shenandoah! Be warned! It also includes one of the most challenging rock scrambles in the park. Being one of the most popular hikes in the region, you should expect the trail to be a bit crowded.
Where do I take my picture? Take your picture at the summit of Old Rag Mountain.
Overall Run Club
Overall Run Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in Virginia, and the hike to the waterfall overlook is challenging but gorgeous! The Overall Run hike is 8.5 miles roundtrip, and when its not offering views of the falls, it offers many picturesque views of the streams and meadows in the area. You may also see a black bear if you’re lucky*!
Where do I take my picture? Take your picture at the Overall Run Falls Overlook.
*Be bear aware and follow bear safety rules laid out by the park!
Little Devil Stairs Club
The Little Devil Stairs trail is a scenic 6 mile loop with scenic views, streams and waterfalls. The hike also includes picturesque old growth and a stop at Bolen Cemetery. Be prepared for the first two miles to have a steep incline!
Where do I take my picture? Take your picture anywhere near the halfway point of this loop.
Our race trifectas are comprised of 3 different activities. The Trifecta is meant to be challenging, but less strenuous than our club hikes. These are iconic activities inside the park that should be experienced, but are doable with children. The 3 activities that makeup the Shenandoah Half Marathon Trifecta are:
- Skyline Drive
- Appalachian Trail
- Dark Hollow Falls
You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta. Same rules apply: take your picture at each of the 3 with your bib and finisher medal and send them to us 72 hours after finishing the race. Those who complete the Trifecta will get their pictures published on our website, plus receive a commemorative pin!
This iconic road through Shenandoah National Park goes for 105 miles. As you drive, you’ll be greeted with scenic foliage and a decent chance of wildlife sightings! You can take your picture at anyone of the 75 overlooks on Skyline Drive.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a public footpath that follows more than 2,100 miles of Appalachian Mountain ridgelines between Maine and Georgia. About 100 of these miles are in Shenandoah National Park! You can take your photo anywhere on the trail, just make sure there is marker in the photo indicating that you’re on the Appalachian Trail.
Dark Hollow Falls
This short hike is just a mile roundtrip, but offers scenic forest views and ends at the base of Dark Hollow Falls– the perfect place to take your trifecta photo! Access the trailhead at the north end of the Dark Hollow Falls parking area off Skyline Drive.